At the Island School, there are so many moments that happen daily they are hard to remember, but there are some that stick with you. For me this has happened. The moment that has stayed with me. I remember the boat rocking and thrashing as the waves broke against and over the hull of the boat. We were going free diving early in the morning, and were all awake and ready for the usual morning free dive boat drive.
We arrived at Tunnel Rock a few minutes later. Excitement on our faces as we hurried to put on our gear, only to be shut down by the fact that the current was too strong and the waves were too big to dive. However, the people on the boat with me, we weren’t sad, no, we were excited! We were excited because we would get to ride the waves again. We turned the boat around in time to be hit by a monster wave that soaked us all. “AHHHHH” we all yelled as our nice warm clothes got drenched. Then I looked around to see people laughing rather than feeling sad or disappointed. We smiled, put our hands up and embraced the good.
The moral of this memory is that, at the Island School, plans don’t always stick, but it is from these changes in plans that memories are made. Being able to adjust and be in the moment is how you grow in this community. “Success is defined by your attitude.”
It was so strange to have my dad here this past weekend. While I was so happy to see him and show him my world, I felt like I could never be able to show him and have him understand the full experience I am going through here. My favorite memory from the weekend however, was on our Saturday off when I showed my dad Glass Window Bridge. We climbed the death rock cliffs for twenty minutes or so, peering over the edge at the violent waves. We climbed down under the bridge itself where I could really show him the contrast between the two oceans. Down there, the waves were much closer and larger, and they sprayed us as we tried to get as close to the water as possible without being in the splash zone. Finally, we climbed up to a ledge where we talked for close to forty minutes, finally catching up on the family members, events and big changes that affected our lives. I was able to explain to him how Island School has changed me and to share that moment with him was priceless.
My favorite moment in the past week was during Wednesday morning free diving. There was a large group getting ready to go out, and three boats headed out to Tunnel Rock. The water was smooth and the sun had already started to rise in the East. We arrived at the dive site and jumped into the water. The reef was teeming with small fish and I dove down to the bottom and rested on my knees looking into the cracks below the ledge. I slowly rose to the surface, and I hear someone yell, “TURTLE!” I raced over to the sound. Deep below in the distance I saw the massive shadow of an ancient Loggerhead. I hovered above to regain my breath and dove down. As I got closer, I could see remoras on the turtle’s stomach. I was then only five feet away, shadowing him, amazed by the elegance of such a large creature. I felt my air run out, and had to resurface. The turtle also ran out of breath and started to rise below me. I quickly took my deep breaths, and swam down. The turtle was about 10 feet down so I swam below him. I was blown away by the underside and movements of the majestic beast. I had to resurface again, and the Loggerhead swam off into the blue.